Lamont Peterson and Adrian Granados held public workouts from Washington D.C. and Chicago respectively on Tuesday, in advance of their showdowns on Feb 18th. Granados faces Adrien Broner in the headline event on Showtime, while Peterson challenges titleholder David Avanesyan.
Televised coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne meeting hard-hitting former title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. in a 10-round showdown and also features WBA Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan battling former two-time world champion Lamont Peterson.
Granados has pledged to dedicate the fight to his friend and former training partner Ed Brown, who fell victim to the violence on Chicago’s West Side in December 2016.
“I’m going through a full-blown training camp and I’ve had a lot of energy. I think the strength will be there too but I’m an energy fighter. I like to put pressure and use my energy. Look for an improved Lamont Peterson.
“People are going to talk a lot about my layoff but honestly that only affects people who aren’t always in the gym. I have been in the gym working hard this entire time. I’ve been working on my craft. I got better and you’ll see on February 18.
“Avanesyan is a good fighter. He keeps his hands up high, so even though he’s there to be hit, it doesn’t mean I’m going to get good clean shots. It should be a good entertaining fight and a good first step at welterweight for me.
“Big fights are what matters to me. When you’re coming up it’s all about winning a title. Having fought for 12 years, it doesn’t matter to me as much. The way I’m looking at is, if I get this win then I’m the No. 1 contender for the belt.
“I have no concern about ring rust. It’s not even a thought in my head. I would be shocked if that was a problem for me.
“You never know what the right time is to move up in weight, but the time is now for me to move up to welterweight and I’m happy about it. Making 140 pounds was getting tough. I think it hampered my performances a bit and that let us know it was time.
“I’ve been wanting to move up but it seemed like my opportunities were down in weight. Now I’m ready to mix it up with the best guys here.
“For me, it’s all about the joy of getting in the ring and competing. I want to do it at the highest level and I’m looking forward to getting big fights.”
BARRY HUNTER, Peterson’s Trainer
“Sometimes having time off like Lamont had is not a bad thing. It gives you space and time to work on your mental game, shore up some things you could be weak at and of course it lets you heal up. It’s served us well and I’m happy with what I see from Lamont so far.
“We always approach an opponent, no matter the record, like they are a world champion. We prepare for war. If anything less than that takes place, so be it. We’re going to be ready. To me Avanesyan is a guy who is an obstacle in our way. If we can’t go around him, we’ll go right through him.
“We want all of the top 147-pounders. I always thought Lamont and Danny Garcia was a fight that warranted a rematch. Because it was a great fight that had a little bit of controversy around it. I still would like to see the rematch.”
“We finally have a huge opportunity. I feel I paid my dues. I know Amir Imam wasn’t a fluke. And the robberies on my record were just that – robberies. You get in the ring with Adrian Granados and you’re going to get a hell of a fight.
“I wasn’t intimated by Broner when we sparred and I’m not intimidated by him now. I know I belong in this fight, at this level.
“It’s a tough fight. People are saying I’m going to have to fight like Marcos Maidana. But I’m going to be Adrian Granados and I’m going to win my way.
“With our two styles it’s going to be a firefight. It can’t be anything but exciting. I have a great team behind me and I can’t wait to make everyone proud.
“Ed Brown was the heart of this neighborhood, and now I need to carry on his legacy. This is my opportunity to do something for my career, but also this community. I have to be twice as great, for me and him.
“Winning this fight not only changes my life, but it changes a lot of other lives. Beating Broner would change the sport in Chicago.
“It’s very motivating to know that I’m an inspirational figure for people in Chicago. It helps me get through those long days in the gym, when you don’t want to get up and train. I know what I’m fighting for and I use it as motivation.
“I started fighting in high school just shadowing my friends when they went to the gym. I asked my mom and dad if I could keep going and luckily they helped me get started and get on this path to where I am.”
GEORGE HERNANDEZ, Granados’ Trainer
“Broner puts his gloves on the same way we do. This is what we want. We want the big names. Beating Broner can get us to the next level.
“No one is going to give us anything. We need to earn it. We’re going to his backyard and we’re going to take it from him.
“This is one of the toughest areas to train in. If you can persevere through that you know you can make it in this sport. We could have gone away for camp but we wanted to stay here because it’s home. The only way to make this city better is by staying here and leading the charge and showing these kids that we can get away from that norm and bring better attention to this area.
“If Adrian can beat the hell out of this kid in his hometown that will send a message to all the kids in this community. It will let them know that you can succeed and do great things. Every kid that’s in here dreams of this opportunity. We’re ready and we’re not going to let it slip away.”